Angry about economy? Smash some plates and move on

Wed Oct 8, 2008 4:52pm EDT
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By Sarah Tippit

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - All over sunny San Diego, tough economic times have forced people to cut back on their $4 lattes and sushi dinners.

But one new business is booming -- and ka-booming -- precisely because of frustration from the worst financial crisis to hit the United States in decades.

Welcome to Sarah's Smash Shack, where pent-up patrons can relieve stress by hurling dinnerware and bric-a-brac against a wall, as hard as they can, day and night, seven days a week.

San Diego entrepreneur Sarah Lavely charges her clients $10 and up to pulverize plates and glasses during 15-minute intervals. Music blares, clients dress in protective gear and a neon sign urges them to "Break More Stuff."

Lavely refuses to discuss her clients' problems in detail, but says that maybe they're "under financial strain, maybe they're stuck in a job they can't leave."

Insurance broker Adam DeWitt came with his wife for his birthday and took out their anger about not being able to buy a first home because the banks have frozen lending.

"It was the best $50 we've spent in the last two years, better than filling up your tank with gas, better than paying interest on your credit card," said DeWitt, 29.

San Diego may boast surf and sunshine year round, but it also has its share of black economic clouds. Its real estate market has been hit hard by the high rate of foreclosures in California, the second highest in the nation, and its unemployment rate has risen to 6.4 percent from 4.8 percent in a year.   Continued...

<p>Jill Farris tosses a disc as Lisa Williams (2nd L) and Dody Patterson (R) watch from a "break room" during their evening session at Sarah's Smash Shack in San Diego, California September 29, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>